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Federal Skilled Workers Program

The Federal Skilled Worker Program is Canada’s primary economic immigration pathway and gives skilled workers, and their loved ones, the opportunity to become permanent residents in Canada.

The first step in pursuing permanent residence in Canada as a Federal Skilled Worker is to make an expression of interest in immigrating to Canada by creating an online Express Entry profile. Based on the information provided in their profile, Federal Skilled Worker candidates obtain a score under Express Entry’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) that determines their ranking in the pool of eligible candidates. Periodically, the Government of Canada issues Invitations To Apply (ITAs) to the highest-ranked candidates in the Express Entry pool and publishes the CRS cut-off score. CRS scores are not fixed and candidates may take steps to improve their ranking while in the pool.

Minimum Eligibility Criteria

Foreign nationals may begin the process of immigration under the Federal Skilled Worker Program by determining whether or not they meet the minimum requirements of the program. The minimum requirements are:

  • One year of continuous full-time or equivalent paid work experience in the past 10 years in a skilled occupation classified under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill level 0, A or B;
  • Validated language ability equivalent to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 in English or French across all abilities (reading, writing, listening, and speaking); and
  • Canadian educational credential (certificate, diploma, or degree) or foreign credential and Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report.

IRCC determines candidates’ eligibility for the Federal Skilled Worker Program based on its unique points grid. However, only the highest-ranked candidates in the Express Entry pool are issued invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence.

Candidate profiles in the Express Entry pool, which also includes Federal Skilled Trades and Canadian Experience Class candidates, are ranked based on the CRS.

In order to be eligible to apply under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, potential candidates must meet the minimum requirements for work, language ability, education and obtain at least 67 points under the program’s 100-point grid. The program’s selection factors grid assesses candidates based on factors that include age, education, work experience, arranged employment, language ability, and adaptability.

Selection Factors

The Federal Skilled Worker selection factors are listed below.

FactorsPoints
EducationUp to 25 points
Language SkillsUp to 28 points
Work ExperienceUp to 15 points
AgeUp to 12 points
Arranged EmploymentUp to 10 points
AdaptabilityUp to 10 points

Settlement Funds

If invited to apply, Federal Skilled Workers will need to prove they can become economically established in Canada with their dependent family members. The settlement funds requirement is waived for foreign nationals who are currently authorized to work in Canada and/ or those who have arranged employment in Canada.

Medical Examinations and Admissibility

IRCC encourages Federal Skilled Worker candidates and their dependents to complete their medical examinations as soon as an ITA is issued. Medical exam results must be valid at the time of applying for permanent residence and when arriving in Canada. Applicants must also obtain security clearances as part of the Canadian immigration application process to prove that they are admissible to Canada.

Processing Times

IRCC aims to process complete Federal Skilled Worker applications in six (6) months or less. Please consult the Canada Immigration Processing Times Tool to find out the processing times for immigration applications.

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